The State of Tennessee announced that the City of Maryville has received $208,767 in grant money from Governor Bredesen’s Safe Routes to Schools program to be used at Sam Houston Elementary School.
The Safe Routes to School program is a statewide initiative designed to make bicycling and walking to school a safer, more appealing, and healthier alternative for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The idea to apply for the grant came from a series of discussions between the city and the Sam Houston neighborhood regarding the safety of students who walked or biked to and from Sam Houston Elementary School. The neighborhood effort was spearheaded by Flower Hulihan whose children who attend Sam Houston. In researching federal grants and monies available, she found the Safe Routes for Schools grant program and presented it to city department heads for their consideration.
“The Safe Routes to Schools program is great because it not only encourages more physical activity among our youth, but it brings back walking and biking to school and in neighborhoods that can help to preserve the small town charm of a community” said City Manager Greg McClain. The grant integrates health, fitness, traffic relief around the school, environmental concerns, and safety into one project.
Mayor Joe Swann said, “This is a great example of taking what started as a neighborhood concern, adding dialog between the city staff and the residents, and then partnering together to do the research and find an agreeable solution.”
The SRTS program is funded by $10.7 million in funds through 2009 and is 100 percent federally funded, so no local match is required.